MANILA - Another huge whale shark was stranded in Batangas province Saturday, authorities said.
The female whale shark, locally named butanding, measures seven meters long, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The marine creature was freed into the open sea in the afternoon.
Officers from the BFAR, police, Mabini local government, Bantay Dagat, and volunteers helped free the whale shark after it was stranded at a pier of the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC).
It was the second whale shark freed this week following another one that was released Thursday.
Whale sharks are protected species under Fisheries Administrative Order No. 193, series of 1998, according to BFAR.
"While the Philippine Coast Guard, our personnel, the Bantay Dagat, the LGUs and other volunteer organizations are more than adept in responding to cases such as whale shark stranding, we are continuously working on creating and adapting measures that will prevent these unfortunate incidences," the bureau said in a statement. "The bureau is not discounting the possibility that the area is part of the usual traverse of the said animal, thus the recurrence of the stranding."
The agency and other groups placed net barriers Saturday around the area to prevent more whale sharks or other marine animals from swimming towards the pier.
It added that it will coordinate with the Coast Guard, the police, and other concerned agencies in monitoring areas where whale shark stranding is likely to occur.